President Obama recently killed hopes for the Keystone XL Pipeline because it needs “further study”. Said in truth, he killed it because his most extreme environmentalist supporters are a critical base of his voters in his re-election bid and he needed to shore them up.
The Keystone project is to build a 1,700 mile pipeline that would bring crude oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Houston. This refined oil would then be primarily consumed in the United States. So what’s not to like about this? We need oil, this oil would be imported from a democratic and friendly neighbor, safely, securely, with extremely minimal environmental impace, and a huge job creator (job estimates range from 20,000 direct American jobs to 500,000 American indirect jobs).
Here’s what’s not to like. First, it’s oil. And argue as you will with a radical environmentalist, oil is bad. As Nathan Lemphers of the Pembina Institute said, “it locks the US into a high-carbon from of energy”. Somehow it doesn’t matter to him/them that we’ll still use the same amount of oil, we’ll just import it from places like Saudi Arabia and Nigeria instead of Canada. We’ll let them have the jobs, we’ll support their despotic governments, and we’ll let them produce and ship it with far lower diligence towards the environment. This includes shipping the oil across the seas, producing huge carbon emissions as it cruises, risking potential leaks into the ocean.
President Obama continues his Kabuki theater, criticizing others for making decisions against the interest of the American people for political reasons while doing exactly that himself. His position on Keystone is an example that no reasonable person could deny. A leader he is not, a politician he is.